If you go: Even lifelong New Yorkers can get lost in Central Park, so visit with a plan and comfortable shoes. If you do get lost, know that the park’s 1,600 lampposts have a secret code painted or embossed on their base to help you orient yourself: The first two or three digits tell you the nearest cross street. If the last number is even, it means you’re on the East Side (both E’s!), odd numbers mean you’re on the West Side (which is indeed the quirkier of the two).
You can’t really go wrong choosing a park entrance, from bustling Columbus Circle to the much quieter, tree-lined Central Park West or Fifth Avenue. Aim to see some of the architectural highlights, like Bethesda Terrace, Strawberry Fields, the Conservatory Garden, and the Loeb Boathouse. If you want to picnic bring your own food and drink, which can be procured at bodega delis surrounding the park, and find a spot in expansive Sheep’s Meadow or the Great Lawn.